A 60-year trend towards increasing global peaceful has come to an end.
The 2014 results of the Global Peace Index confirms that the past seven years have marked a downward turn towards heightened conflict around the world.
The Institute for Economics and Peace released the results of the GPI on June 18. The institute measured 162 countries on 22 qualitative and quantitative indicators that determine levels of violence or the fear of violence.
Global violence cost the international economy US$9.8 trillion, an increase of US$179 billion.
Iceland upheld its position as the most peaceful country in the world. Meanwhile, Syria displaced Afghanistan as the least peaceful country.
Canada ranked seventh most peaceful country, and helped to shore up North America's overall standing as the second-most peaceful region in the world (following Europe).
The United States came in at 101, due to the rise of terrorist activity such as the Boston marathon attack in 2013
While South Asia was the least peaceful region in the world, its overall score improved more than any other region. Recent elections in Afghanistan without any major incident and improvements in the number of refugees and displaced people in Sri Lanka and Bhutan resulted in improved scores.
The 10 countries most likely to increase in unrest and violence over the next two years are Zambia, Haiti, Argentina, Chad, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, Burundi, Georgia, Liberia, and Qatar.
While 51 countries have improved in peacefulness, 111 countries have deteriorated.
Major deteriorations took place in Egypt, Ukraine, Central African Republic, and South Sudan (which fell to 160th place).
Cote d'Ivoire (with a decrease in violent demonstrations and displaced persons) and Georgia (after its 2011 conflict with Russia) demonstrated the greatest improvements.
The top 10 most peaceful countries are:
The least peaceful countries, where 85 percent of all terrorist activity takes place, are as follows:
152 Russia 3.039
153 North Korea 3.071
154 Pakistan 3.107
155 Democratic Republic of the Congo 3.213
156 Central African Republic 3.331
157 Sudan 3.362
158 Somalia 3.368
159 Iraq 3.377
160 South Sudan 3.397
161 Afghanistan 3.416
162 Syria 3.650
Here is a map indicating the varying levels of peacefulness for each country: